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Video shows police fatally shooting Black man while serving no-knock warrant

Body-worn camera footage shows Minneapolis police officers, who were serving a no-knock warrant, breaking into a city apartment in the early morning hours on Wednesday and fatally shooting a Black man asleep on the couch.

The Minneapolis Police Department’s SWAT team shot and killed 22-year-old Amir Locke while serving the no-knock warrant for another suspect at the Bolero Flats apartment in downtown Minneapolis, according to a Thursday press release.

The shooting triggered widespread condemnation in Minneapolis, a city still reeling from the murder of George Floyd in 2020.

The video released on Thursday shows a handful of SWAT agents in full tactical gear unlocking the apartment door at around 6:48 a.m. Police then charged into the apartment, shouting “Police!” and “Get on the ground!”

Directly in front of the door, Locke was covered in a white blanket, apparently asleep on the couch. As police converge on his location, Locke gets up, still covered in the blankets, and appears to be shot multiple times, according to the video.

The officer who shot Locke is Mark Hanneman, the city said on its website. Hanneman appears to have been hired in 2015, according to city documents. Hanneman was placed on administrative leave, according to Garrett Parten, a spokesperson for the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD).

Parten said the MPD will be conducting an independent investigation that will review the policy of no-knock warrants.

“The internal investigation will focus on policy and procedure as it existed at the time the warrant was served,” Parten said. “The chief did say that we will be reviewing the warrants as they relate to policy.”

 

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A still image of the body-worn camera footage released by police shows Locke had a gun next to him, which police said was pointed at the officers. In the press release, the MPD said that about nine seconds after police entered the apartment, “officers encountered a male who was armed with a handgun pointed in the direction of the officers.”

“An officer fired his duty weapon and the adult male suspect was struck,” the release said. “Officers immediately provided emergency aid and carried the suspect down to the lobby to meet paramedics.”

Locke was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

The police were serving the no-knock warrant for the Saint Paul Police Department homicide unit for several suspects at three separate apartments in the building, according to interim Police Chief Amelia Huffman, who spoke at a Thursday night press conference recorded by CBS Minnesota.

But Locke was not named in the warrant, Huffman confirmed. Two other people named by police in the incident report were Marlon Speed, 22, and Tatyana Henderson, 22.

At the press conference, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey (D) said the “city has been through a lot” and promised for a transparent investigation into the incident.

“No matter the circumstances, a man, Amir Locke, has lost his life,” Frey said. “We must hold those facts in our heart.”

Frey said the video raises questions and that he intends to “get answers as quickly as possible.”

National civil rights lawyer Ben Crump released a statement on Twitter following the incident in which he cited the 2020 police shooting of Breonna Taylor, who was killed in Louisville, Ky., during a similar no-knock warrant incident. Crump said no-knock warrants have “deadly consequences for Black Americans.”

“This is yet another example of why we need to put an end to these kinds of search warrants so that one day, Black Americans will be able to sleep safely in their beds at night,” he said.

At Thursday’s press conference, another civil rights lawyer, Nekima Levy Armstrong, said she was “tired of the excuses” and faulted the city for issuing no-knock warrants. Armstrong said she “couldn’t sleep at night” after she had heard about the shooting.

“I saw a picture of Amir, he looks like a boy,” she said. “My son is 17 years old. He has slept at his friends’ couches for sleepovers. So we cannot sit here and whitewash this and pretend this is okay.”

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is conducting an independent investigation into the incident. 

This story was updated at 1:04 p.m.

Tags Amir Locke body worn camera footage Jacob Frey Mark Hanneman Minneapolis Minneapolis Police Department Minneapolis Police Department Minnesota no knock warrant No-knock warrant Police shooting police shooting video

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